"Looks like it's going to rain," Andy said.
He's my husband, so it's my right (and in my job description) to ignore about 50% of what he says. He returns the favor, so that's why it's a good partnership.
"Yeah," I agreed. "Are you coming with me?"
It's a football day, so the answer was no. Ten minutes later, Roody poody was hooked up to his leash and Hayden was strapped into his tank stroller. Let me digress here for a moment, only because it is (semi) relevant to a later part of the story. It's only partly relevant, but it is also a chance for me to brag about Andy's creative skills, so you're hearing about it.
I have a stroller problem. Three of them to be exact. One that is the all-in-one carseat-stroller contraption for bitty, bitty babies. One is a jogging stroller for all of the, um, jogging that I do. One is an umbrella stroller I am borrowing from a friend for when we want to go somewhere but don't feel like running over dogs, small children, and adult ankles in a crowd. The carseat stroller is nice because the expandable visor thing can move. If the sun is right in front of us, I can bump the visor all the way down so the sun isn't in Hayden's eyes. On the jogging stroller, the visor is securely and permanently attached to the top back part of the stroller. I justified keeping the carseat stroller because I liked the moveable visor. Andy fixed the problem by creating the tank stroller. He took the moving visor from the carseat stroller and attached it to the jogging stroller. When the sun is super crazy, Hayden goes into tank mode. We put the carseat visor all the way down, which leaves a gap at the top. Then we put the jogging stroller top down and the entire stroller is covered by one visor or the other. It's pretty fancy, even if the visors don't match.
So, I figured that if it started to sprinkle, Hayden could go into tank mode. No biggie.
We embarked on our walk, smiling and waving at neighbors we didn't know. I got to the point in the neighborhood where I could either turn left and go around the block and head home, or I could turn right and head past the newer houses, but would have to turn around when I wanted to go home.
The heather-gray clouds looked like they would hold off on spilling their guts for another hour or two, so I turned right.
I walked a good two blocks before the rain started to splat. Not the nice, friendly tinkle-sprinkle of light rain drops. These were the ones that make noise and make you blink when they land on your face because they're kinda heavy.
"Okay," I thought to myself. "This isn't too bad. I'll just turn around at the next street corner." I put Hayden's stroller in tank mode and trucked onward.
Then the splats turned into a straight-on downpour. I was drenched in 7.6 seconds flat. Rufus was in doggie panic mode and was trying to hide under the stroller. Hayden started screaming.
At the time, I was rather foolishly wearing flip flops. I tossed those bad boys in the little carrier under the stroller and ran barefoot back toward the house. I'm pretty sure I looked like a class-A idiot mother. We were the only ones outside on a walk-that-was-now-a-frantic-run. Poor Rufus was running like a rabid dog, zig-zagging across lawns, alternately trying to hide under trees and/or the stroller. Hayden was screaming in his Frankenstein stroller.
I had that terrible feeling like I wasn't just a half-mile from my house. I may as well have been trekking through a snake-infested jungle a thousand miles from home. That is the type of desperate "Oh shit"ness I was feeling.
At one point in the journey that seemed like a hundred miles back to my house, a nice lady let me cross the street without stopping to look both ways (I did look both ways, but didn't stop because the lady waved me through). She rolled down her window and shouted what I presumed was "Are you okay?" (It was a little hard to hear over the downpour and the screaming baby). I said I was fine and plastered a rain-soaked smile on my face.
I ran barefoot the whole way home, even though part of the sidewalk at one point was gravel from the construction. I didn't even feel it. Not quite the same as lifting a car off a kid, but definitely Momma-power!
Andy met me in the garage with a stack of towels. At some point in our journey, part of the tank-mode stroller collapsed and Hayden was soaked to the bone.
We made quite the pair. I am happy to report that Hayden seems untraumatized by the incident. He may end up peeing the bed tonight, but I doubt it's from our journey today. He is officially 13 months old!
(See, no tears. A little bit of fear in the eyes, maybe.)